Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bloom Day - July 2015

July usually marks a decided shift for my southern California garden.  The heat begins in earnest and many plants stop blooming, waiting for the return of cooler temperatures.  However, while we experienced some tropical heat in late June and early July, the temperatures haven't soared anywhere near as high as we'd expect at this time of year (yet).  Nonetheless, the water restrictions instituted in response to California's severe drought conditions are having an effect.  In my garden, while you can find flowers here and there throughout, there aren't a lot of areas with masses of bloom, although there are a few exceptions to that rule.

The most floriferous bed in my garden is this one adjacent to the backyard patio

The flower power in this bed is supplied by Anigozanthos 'Yellow Gem', Gaillardia aristata 'Gallo Peach', Salvia 'Amistad', and Solanum xanti

The other bed that stops traffic is this one along the house in the front yard, which is dominated by masses of Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Sun' and 'Goblin' (backed up by Grevillea 'Superb')


Two genera doing their best to make an impact elsewhere in the garden are Eustoma grandiflorum (aka Lisianthus) and Grevillea.

I'm growing 4 colors of Eustoma grandiflorum this year: 'Borealis Blue', 'Borealis Yellow', 'Echo White' and 'Mariachi Pink'

The 3 Grevilleas making the biggest splash at the moment are G. alpina x rosmarinifolia, G. 'Superb' and G. lavandulacea 'Penola', the last sporting new blooms way ahead of schedule ('Ned Kelly' was camera-shy this month and 'Peaches & Cream' is still getting ready for her next close-up)


Blooms that have only recently made an appearance include these:

Top row: Achillea 'Moonshine', Anigozanthos (no ID), and Helianthus annus
Middle row: Lilium (no ID), Oscularia deltoides, and Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'
Bottom row: Trachelium caeruleum, Zauschneria 'Orange Carpet', and Zinnia elegans


In addition, some plants that bloomed earlier in the year then took a rest have made a reappearance in small numbers.

Top row: Anagallis 'Wildcat Mandarin', Aster frikartii 'Monch', and Cistus 'Sunset'
Middle row: Globularia x indubia, Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy', and Limonium perezii
Bottom row: Osteospermum 'Blue-eyed Beauty', Phlomis fruticosa, and Tanacetum parthenium


The new arrivals are backed up by plants that are almost perpetually in bloom, as well as others that have especially long bloom cycles.

Plants almost perpetually in bloom include (clockwise from left): Coleonema pulchellum 'Sunset Gold' with Cuphea 'Starfire Pink', Abelia x grandiflora, Gazania 'White Flame', Polygala fruticosa 'Petite Butterflies' and Hebe 'Patty's Purple' (shown with more Cuphea 'Starfire Pink')

Other stalwarts include, top row: Bignonia capreolata, Duranta (no ID - blooming continuously on graywater!), and Gaura
Middle row: Jacobaeus maritima, Lavender (no ID), and Osteospermum 'Sweet Kardinal'
Bottom row: Pentas 'Kaleidoscope Appleblossom', Salvia 'Wendy's Wish', and Wahlenbergia 'Blue Cloud'


Some summer bloomers are already exiting the stage.

Clockwise from left: Agapanthus (no ID), Albezia julibrissin, Cymbidium (no ID), Hemerocallis 'Sammy Russell Red', and Leucanthemum x superbum

I'll end this month's bloom report with the biggest surprises to make an appearance.

These 2 may have been prompted to bloom by the earlier tropical weather: Bauhinia x blakeana (aka Hong Kong orchid tree) and Tibouchina  urvilleana


You can find bloom reports from all over the world by checking in with Carol, the mistress of ceremonies for the event known as Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, at May Dreams Gardens.


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

32 comments:

  1. Love your Gaillardias. I keep hoping to see some Agapanthus buds here. Sammy Russell is resting right now. Happy Bloom Day.

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    1. I have you to thank for identifying the 'Sammy Russell' daylilies I inherited with the house, Jean. Mine seem less robust this year. I don't know why that would be - unless it's yet another impact of reduced rain and irrigation.

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  2. Wow! A big job, but with beautiful flowers, so many that are unfamiliar to me. I'll be back.

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  3. Dear Kris, it is truly astonishing how many plants are blooming in your garden considering the drought and the water restrictions. Even though no plant will grow and let alone bloom with no water, some can make due with very little water. It seems to be a lot about making the right plant choices for the conditions that we are now gardening in here in Southern California. Of course, I have a few favorites: Eustoma grandiflorum, Tibouchina urvilleana and Gazania 'White Flame'. Thanks for writing about your July Bloomers, great and inspiring post!
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Of the 3 plants you mention, Christina, Gazania are the least thirsty. Eustoma are said to require regular water, although I've found that they get by with sprinkling 2x per week - they're an indulgence. I inherited 2 Tibouchina with the house here (and have already lost 1) but I grew it in my former garden - it also looks best with regular water (and shade during the hottest part of the day.

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  4. Amazing selection, and to think it may have not peaked yet with the blooming season in your garden :)

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    1. What my garden looks like in August and September will depend a lot on both how high the temperatures go and how much I'm able to irrigate. I'm still feeling my way with the new water limits, trying to keep my usage as low as I can. It'd help a lot if we'd get a tropical storm with some rain to refill my collection tanks!

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  5. So much in bloom despite the lack of water! I've never been able to get the Eustoma to grow, they just fail to put on any growth and then the frosts kill them. I guess they are a heat-lover :-)
    Gomphrena 'Itsy Bitsy' certainly is a cute variety and those Gaillardias are just stunning!

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    1. Eustoma does seem to like it here! I was surprised when I looked back at last year's record and saw how frequently they were in bloom.

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  6. thankyou, all gorgeous again!

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  7. So many great blooms! You may not have many areas full of blooms, but you have a lot to see. I like how you group plants. Those gaillardia are beautiful. I've never much cared for them, but your photo makes me want to grow them. I love that Osteospermum 'Sweet Cardinal'. The color is just gorgeous.

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    1. The red and yellow Gaillardia came with the house but I doubt I could get rid of them if I tried as they self-seed freely. I pulled some of them out not long after we moved in but they came right back. They do so well here that I've become fond of them (although I do like the peach and apricot ones better).

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  8. That shot of the swath of Gaillardia in front is pretty fab! I don't really have any beds full of blooms at the moment either, just individual plants blooming here and there. Happy GBBD!

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    1. Those Gaillardia have really grown on me, Alison - they're so relentlessly cheery.

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  9. Kris, every time I see your lisianthus it brings me back to when it was introduced decades ago by Thompson & Morgan with the most incredible fanfare. It was hell starting it from seed -- I tried many times! Now it's available in plants and I haven't tried it again in years. Maybe next year's cutting garden. And I kind of like that dark sunflower!

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    1. I tried Eustoma from seed too, Denise, and wasn't successful but then I'm not as attentive as I should be with seeds. However, I've been able to get even the double-flowered varieties in 6-packs and 4-inch pots. And, although usually sold as annuals, they're really short-lived perennials (here at least).

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  10. I seldom have masses of bloom in my garden which is more of a foliage garden. You have some spectacular blooms! Your Eustoma grandiflorum continue to amaze! Your garden could be the poster child for stunning drought tolerant gardens!

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    1. Although the vast majority of my plant purchases are now from genera designated as "drought-tolerant", I'm still learning what drought-tolerance requires here. All drought-tolerant plants clearly aren't created equal.

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  11. The dark sunflower caught my eye, and it looks fab with the yellow Kangaroo Paw!

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    1. That sunflower came from a seed collection labeled "Drop Dead Red" but none of those shown on the packet were remotely as dark as the first one to bloom in my garden. My guess is that one is the hybrid called 'Moulin Rouge'.

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  12. Love your blooms. I've made a note of some and I'll see if I can get them to grow in a wet Welsh garden next summer

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    1. My plants are generally drought-tolerant but you may find some that don't mind wet feet. The Eustoma may do better for you than they do for me.

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  13. So many wonderful blooms. I specially love the Eustomas and the wonderful Bauhinia. It is interesting to see how different flowers have different blooming times in your garden and how you have plants from different seasons all blooming at once. Everything seems to cope well with the heat and drought, but I expect that is because they are so well cared for.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Chloris. I'm still feeling my way with this garden, which gets so much more sun and less marine moisture than my tiny former garden. I'm also feeling my way with the new water restrictions, testing the limits as to how little water I can get away with and yet keep my plants alive.

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  14. Your garden looks amazing given how hot it is. Your plant choice is obviously the reason the garden looks so fabulous, I wish mine looked half as good.

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    1. Your garden has wonderful structure that mine lacks, Christina. I still do a lot of piece-meal "experimental" planting in an effort to identify which species will perform best here.

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  15. I must have a thing for blue/silver foliage with yellow flowers at the moment (or maybe it's always been there) but Jacobaeus maritima jumped out at me, it's lovely.

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    1. That plant, formerly classified as a Senecio, is commonly known as "dusty miller" here and has been common in southern California gardens for decades, used mainly as a foliage accent. I formerly dismissed it but I've come to love it, especially when it blooms.

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  16. Your efforts are really paying off now Kris. I love the bed in the first shot. It must be a real pleasure sitting at the patio.
    I always do the slide show of your pics before I read the comments and thought the Eustoma were roses, very similar looking blooms to my untrained eye! Well done on having so much in bloom in your difficult conditions.

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  17. Somehow, unless someone is visiting, I never end up sitting when I'm in the backyard but I suspect you know that story...

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